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Tortuguero: Costa Rica’s Fresh-Water Highway

Discover Tortuguero and its Surrounding Areas

Welcome to Tortuguero, a hidden gem between the Caribbean Sea and a network of serene rivers and lagoons.

Located in Costa Rica’s northeastern Caribbean wetlands, Tortuguero is a paradise that can only be reached by boat or plane. It’s a place where nature thrives untouched and free.

Tortuguero boasts a unique mix of eleven habitats, making it a sanctuary for an amazing variety of plants and animals. Each spot is brimming with life, from rainforests and mangrove forests to swamps, beaches, and lagoons.

One of the most remarkable events in Tortuguero is the Turtle Hatching Season. From July to October, green turtles lay their eggs on the beaches. Watching these new lives begin is truly a magical experience.

So, if you’re looking for an escape into the wild, where adventure awaits at every turn, Tortuguero is waiting for you. Explore this beautiful corner of the world.

Tortuguero and Beyond: Combining Your Visit with Other Destinations

Whether flying or driving, starting your adventure to Tortuguero is easy and exciting.

The quickest way to get here is to catch a domestic flight from San José. In just 30 to 45 minutes, you’ll land at Tortuguero’s airstrip. It’s just a short and scenic boat ride to town from there.

If you prefer to drive? It’s a 3.5-hour journey from San José to the ports of La Pavona or Caño Blanco. Once you park, hop on a boat, and you’ll arrive at Tortuguero in about an hour.

Tortuguero is also a gateway to exploring more of Costa Rica and beyond. By land or additional charter flights, you can easily connect to places like Arenal, Puerto Viejo de Limon, and even Bocas del Toro in Panama.

Most visitors choose an organized tour, which includes everything from your stay to guided explorations of this natural paradise. Or, you can opt for a private transfer to the port and enjoy a personalized boat ride into the heart of the National Park.

What Makes Tortuguero Unique

Tortuguero is a special place with many secrets. It’s famous for its sea turtle nesting, but there’s more to explore. The canals in Tortuguero are home to bioluminescent plankton, which create a stunning sight at night.

The sea turtle nesting season is from July to October, and it’s a crucial site for conservation efforts to protect endangered sea turtles. Local organizations and volunteers work together to safeguard these creatures, contributing to global conservation efforts.

The canal system in Tortuguero is like a freshwater highway, and locals often use it for transportation. The waterways are extensive and home to a diverse range of aquatic life.

Tortuguero National Park is full of wildlife. There are 138 species of mammals, including monkeys, jaguars, sloths, and manatees. You can also observe over 442 species of birds, and the park has 118 species of reptiles, including sea turtles, caimans, and crocodiles. There are 58 species of amphibians, including red-eyed leaf frogs and strawberry poison dart frogs, which are popular with visitors.

Our Recommended Elevated Experiences

Tortuguero is a haven for eco-adventurers with a wide array of activities and attractions for your guests.

Embark on a scenic boat tour of Tortuguero’s canal system to observe wildlife, or canoe or kayak through tranquil waterways. 

For hiking enthusiasts, a trek up Tortuguero Hill offers stunning views of the beaches and canals.

As night falls, your guests can witness sea turtles nesting on the beaches, a truly unforgettable sight only available seasonally. 

They can also enjoy breathtaking views of the bioluminescent waters and stargaze under the region’s dark skies. 

Tortuguero is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise. With over 400 bird species, manatees, monkeys, sloths, and vibrant frogs, photographers will find endless opportunities to capture diverse wildlife.

We recommend visiting the Afro-Caribbean communities near Tortuguero town’s park entrance. Take a ‘coconut tour’ to enjoy local cuisine and music. You can also visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy Museum and Visitors Center with a guide.

Culture, Community, Conservation & Sustainability

Tortuguero is a vibrant town with a rich Afro-Caribbean culture. 

During their visit, guests can enjoy the lively drum beats and listen to the locals’ fascinating stories.

The Sea Turtle Conservancy, a global conservation organization, has established a small but impressive visitor center on the northern end of the town. 

Here, guests can explore a museum and watch a short video explaining turtles’ lives, breeding, and the Conservancy’s efforts to protect them. 

This center also highlights why Tortuguero Beach is crucial for turtles’ survival.

The ranger stations in the vicinity actively participate in research activities related to the park’s ecology and biodiversity. 

Researchers and scientists may partner with park rangers to conduct studies and collect data. 

The ranger station is a base for various conservation efforts, including habitat restoration, wildlife protection, and invasive species management.

Accommodations That Reflect Our Philosophy of Place

Tortuguero’s accommodations offer a unique experience for guests who value sustainability. 

Eco-lodges here provide a stay where every aspect is designed to minimize the environmental impact, making it a perfect choice for those who appreciate responsible tourism.

Typically, round-trip transportation, accommodation at the lodge, meals, and activities are included. 

Some of our suggested lodges include: 

Laguna Lodge

Tortuga Lodge

Manatus Hotel

Craft an Experience Your Guests Will Remember

Contact us if your guests are eager to explore Tortuguero.

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